Eighty Percent of SMBs Confident They Understand Best SEO Practices - SEO Activities Say Otherwise

Friday, April 12, 2019
Posted by Reagan Reeve

SMB Search Engine Optimization Strategies


Seventy-eight percent (78%) of SMBs with an SEO strategy claim they are confident in their understanding of SEO best practices, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to site.


Despite this confidence, 63% of SMBs prioritize social media marketing over key SEO activities such as local search and on-site optimization. Social media, however, does not have a direct impact on search rankings.

Overall, 36% of SMBs had an SEO strategy at the start of 2019, and 23% plan to create and implement an SEO strategy this year. An SEO strategy sets up SMBs for long-term success, but it takes time, investment, and technical expertise to build and optimize website content to rank in search engines.

Less Than Half of SMBs Focus on Local Search or On-Site Optimization


Local and Global Marketing

SEO activities such as local search and on-site optimization help small businesses engage potential customers and make it easier for search engines to understand their websites. Fewer than half of SMBs(45%) say that local search is a priority in their search engine optimization strategy, despite its benefits of engaging local audiences and earning prime search rankings in a Google 3-Pack.


"If you are a small business that relies on local customers and clients, you need to create a local SEO strategy," said Cory Hedgepeth, a senior digital marketing manager for Direct Online Marketing, a digital marketing company in Pittsburgh.


Technical SEO services such as on-site optimization help search engines and online audiences browse and understand an SMB’s' website content. Forty percent (40%) of SMBs incorporate on-site optimization into their SEO strategies.


SEO Agencies Help SMBs Realize and Achieve SEO Best Practices


SMBs mostly depend on in-house staff (54%) for their SEO strategies, more than double the number that partner with an SEO agency (28%).


SMBs Partnering with Web Design Companies

In-house staff are effective resources for efforts such as social media marketing and content marketing but may lack the technical expertise needed to optimize their SMB websites for SEO.


SEO agencies have expertise across various SEO disciplines. As a result, SMBs that hire an SEO company include more services in their SEO strategies compared to those that rely on in-house staff. At least half focus on content marketing (56%), on-site optimization (54%), keyword research (54%), and local search optimization (50%) as part of their SEO strategies.


In addition, 77% of SMBs that hire an SEO company invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Using results from PPC campaigns, SMBs can learn and implement best practices for their SEO strategies.The Manifest's 2019 Small Business SEO Survey included 529 small businesses in the U.S.


Access the full report here: https://themanifest.com/seo/small-business-seo-best-practices-2019.